Greater Miami welcomed a record-breaking number of travelers in 2018, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Monday. Some 16.5 million overnight visitors and 6.8 million day-trippers graced the Magic City throughout the year, reported the bureau, resulting in a nearly $18 billion economic boom fueled by international crowds.
By the numbers, GMCVB reports the following:
- A 2 percent year-over-year increase in Miami International Airport passenger arrivals;
- 11,160,131 total international passengers;
- 11,602,705 total domestic passengers;
- A 12.5 percent increase over 2017 in PortMiami Passengers;
- A hotel inventory increase of 4.2 percent over 2017, totaling 57,415 rooms by the end of 2018; and
- A 0.9 percent year-over-year increase in hospitality employees.
The International overnight-visitor market experienced the highest rate of growth (4.1 percent). Latin America remained a key contributor, with most Miami-goers originating from Brazil, Columbia and Argentina. Combined, the three totaled more than 20 percent of the total international market.
Those from across the United States represented 38 percent of ovenighters. New York City represented the largest contributing U.S. destination, with 20 percent of the total.
“Our neighborhood marketing strategy encourages visitors to stay longer in Greater Miami,” said Bruce Orosz, GMCVB board chair. “Whether it’s a day-tripper who comes into the destination for a few hours or an international visitor staying for several days, Greater Miami’s authenticity is a strong tourism driver and attracts visitors from all over the world.”
The GMCVB says it currently is booking meetings and conventions for the recently renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. With growing hotel space, the destination is looking to target citywide conventions.
Overall, Florida is faring well with visitors. Earlier this year, Visit Florida reported that a record 111.8 million domestic visitors traveled to the Sunshine State in 2018, marking an increase of 7 percent year-over-year.